According to GP Synergy CEO, Mr John Oldfield, the increase is a result of extra training places announced in the Federal budget and will take the maximum annual intake in the region from 31 in 2014 to 37 in 2015.
“The demand for GP training places in the New England/Northwest region has been rapidly increasing over the last five years,” says Mr Oldfield.
“In 2009, the number of training places filled was 10. In 2014 this more than tripled to 31,” he says.
Mr Oldfield says there are other encouraging signs for the region such as several GP registrars completing procedural skills training starting to move out into smaller communities.
“Through the collaborative efforts of staff and specialists at Tamworth and Armidale Hospitals and GP Synergy, the New England/Northwest region has acquired an excellent reputation for training registrars in areas such as anaesthesia and obstetrics.
“It is heartening to see GP registrars who have spent the last 12 months developing skills in disciplines like anaesthesia moving into rural smaller centres where they can use these skills to the benefit of the local community, at the same time continuing their community based primary care training,” Mr Oldfield says.
There are currently 39 GP registrars training in general practices and hospitals across the New England/Northwest region, 19 of which are training in Tamworth.
One of these GP registrars is Dr Samantha Baker (pictured), who says she is thoroughly enjoying her GP training at Tamworth’s Smith Street Practice.
“The training I’ve received here has been phenomenal. With such a wide and varied range of presentations in our practice, I never know what’s coming through my door, and every day is challenging.
“I have always loved living and working in rural areas. When it came time to choose my training provider I chose GP Synergy, and more specifically, Tamworth as my base. It’s such a vibrant town, and the people are so friendly and welcoming,” she says.